BOOM! Kris Dahl delivers the biggest win of his career and the biggest win of Silber Pro Cycling’s breakthrough season on stage 1 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
We’re trying something new for The Tour of Utah. We’ll use this post as a rolling chronicle of each days stage. So keep coming back here, for quick daily updates, social media rollups and photos. After the Tour Gord Fraser will collect his thoughts and provide a more introspective retrospective of the teams biggest tour to date.
135 km, over the Bristelcone pass of 3,000m. Matteo made the move of the day in the early break. This took pressure of the rest of the team, allowing Kris to setup a perfect sprint for the team’s biggest win of the season.
— Gord Fraser (@GordFraser) 1 August 2016
Kris’s smile says it all. We can’t keep up with the buzz on twitter. Overwhelmed, thrilled. Onto stage two. Here’s some pictures from today:
Matteo’s aggressive riding earned him the most aggressive rider award for the day. He stood on the podium with Kris.
159km over the another 3,000m pass – this time, Boulder Mountain. Team Director Gord Fraser sums this stage up succinctly in his facebook comment:
I’ve been radio silent since the end of stage today. Here’s the scoop:
We were going to treat today like the first stage, meaning no GC defense and give guys opportunity to infiltrate the break. The opening 2 hours was scintillating and we were in everything. Unfortunately, Cannondale kept chasing since they weren’t happy with the compositions. Finally 2 guys snapped the elastic and we set a mild tempo to keep it reasonable. After an hour of moderate tempo I canvassed the other teams I thought had stage interest or GC ambitions to give a hand. I gave them 30k to make up their minds and then pulled my guys off the front.
I’m proud of our efforts and disappointed other teams didn’t offer timely help, but that’s racing. Big congratulations to Holowesko team for the stage and jersey. I hope they have better luck defending then we did. They are a super strong team and will represent the domestic teams well.
Kris and Matteo hamming it up at the stage start:
Ryan Roth, got a surprise:
Matteo swapped his most aggressive jersey for the KOM:
And Christopher Rowley won our “Guess The Gap” contest on Facebook. Be sure to play today
191km over with the first GC day – final climb over Mt. Nebo was positioned to bring the GC riders to the fore. They came. The race has been reshaped.
We didn’t have anyone climb strongly enough today to retain any GC aspirations. Now we race for stages and other classifications.
What’s more… Teo lost the KOM jersey by one precious point. He passes that onto Adrien Costa, of the Axeon Hagens-Berman team. Adrien is probably the most talented young rider in North America… so, that jersey has gone to an honourable competitor. We’ll look to recapture it in the coming stages while we hunt for more stage wins.
154km from Lehi to Kerns. This stage turned into a classic sprint day. Despite the effort, we didn’t get a rider in today’s break. In the end we positioned Kris, in the hectic final he was margined out and finished 14th. Travis McCabe of Holowesko won – well deserved. Congrats to Holowesk for a second stage in this Tour. The domestic teams are doing well shutting out the World Tour squads so far… although Reijnen is looking good.
186km and bumpy. This day would go one of two ways; the break could stick, or the GC riders would come forward in the end. The second thing was bound to happen, it was really just a question of how much leash the break would be allowed on the day.
It would not be an easy day with four tough climbs en-route. We needed a scrappy climber in the move. And we did that getting Alex up there. It was looking good with just 8km to go. Alex was good… just not great. He was able to distance the main threat from the break if it came down to a sprint – Logan Owen of the Axeon Team.
In the end the GC contenders were too close. They mopped up the break – an elite front group of 39 riders sprinted for the stage win. Finally the World Tour teams got a stage with Keil Reijnen of Trek-Segafredo winning the day.
Fellow Canadian – Rob Britton, of Rally Cycling – had another great day, strong, vigilant, 9th on the stage. Rob holds onto 6th place on GC.
Alex is shattered from his effort – but will come through to fight again.
The team was very present on the front again today.
And Team Silber is becoming a fan-favourite.
183 km over Guardman’s Pass with a summit finish to Snowbird Ski Resort. This stage always looked set to be the defining Queen Stage of this year’s tour.
It didn’t disappoint, with a dramatic finish launching Cannondale-Drapac’s Andrew Tolansky into the yellow jersey. More surprises from the young Adrien Costa and a solid ride by fellow Canadian Rob Britton. Jelly Belly’s Lachlan Morton just couldn’t hang onto his yellow jersey…
For Silber Kris made the break of the day… however, this move was always unlikely to stay away on such a tough day. We are constantly being surprised by our new-trainee, Dave Drouin. He’s quietly showing promise and strength. He’s a versatile little biker.
125 km around Park City, with two large climbs – the final one over Empire Pass being decisive. Wow, wow, what drama.
This is how all bike races should end. Hail, rain, and long-range attacks by the GC favourites absolutely detonated this short stage. Lachlan Morton put on the show of shows and won the overall GC with an audacious attack. Tolansky crumbled. Costa confirmed himself as the biggest talent in the USA since Greg Lemond (back in 1976-78) and our compatriot – Rob Britton hung onto an important 5th place on GC in this big bike race.
For Silber again, it’s a day where we suffered and learned. We’re ecstatic with our first kick at a race of this scale. A stage win, holding some jerseys, being ‘trademark’ aggressive, never backing down, taking some throttling in the mountains and discovering a new hidden Canadian talent is everything and more we could have hoped for in this tour.
The lessons learned and new strengths acquired will serve us well in the upcoming Tour of Alberta. Stay tuned for a full race recap blog from team DS Gord Fraser.